Education Policy

The focus of this research group is national educational policymaking set within a global context, and how this shapes and influences education and its enactment. 

We examine the relationship between educational policymaking and enactment, including the various factors which mediate this process, in different national, regional and local contexts, cultures and circumstances. In this, we seek to understand education, continuity and change from a critical social perspective, particularly: 

  • the historical and cultural construction of contemporary educational formations,
  • the relationship between educational policymaking and enactment, including the various factors which mediate this process,
  • and how education policy and politics is shaped by power relations, based in class, gender, ethnicity and other social divisions.

We welcome new members and proposals for developing research collaborations.

Postgraduate opportunities

There are many doctoral and masters degree opportunities in education policy for students at Plymouth Institute of Education, and we particularly welcome enquiries and applications in these areas. Please look at the relevant programme pages. Informal enquiries can be addressed to any of the members of this group.

Selected publications

Alderton, J. & Pratt, N. (2018) 'Accountability and assessment: Gaps and Grids', Bergqvist, E., Österholm, M., Granberg, C. and Sumpter, L. eds.). 42nd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Umeå, Sweden July 3rd - 8th. pp. 11 - 18

Hohmann, U. (2016) 'Making policy in the classroom'. Research in Comparative and International Education, 11 (4), pp. 380-393.

Hohmann, U. (2018) 'Found in translation: an analytical framework to explore national and regional Early Childhood Education and Care systems'. Early Years, pp. 1-13.

Kelly, Peter (2020) Liberal education in turbulent times: policy, pedagogy and their effects in European comparison, London Review of Education, 18(1), 37–52, doi: 10.18546/LRE.18.1.03 [Published online 1st March 2020].

Kelly, Peter (2017) Promoting inclusive European education policy research: creating a third space, in: Yaliz Akbaba & Bob Jeffrey (Eds) The implications of ‘new populism’ for education, Stroud, E&E Publishing, 87-98.

Kelly, Peter (2016) Autorité, responsabilité, pédagogie et évaluation dans les établissements scolaires anglais [Authority, accountability, pedagogy and assessment in English schools], The Revue Internationale d’Education de Sevres, (72), September 2016, 115-124.

Kelly, Peter (2016) Constructing the insider and outsider in comparative research, in Michael Crossley, Lore Arthur and Elizabeth McNess (Eds) Revisiting Insider-Outsider Research in Comparative and International Education, Bristol, Symposium Books, 57-74.

Kelly, Peter (2014) Intercultural comparative research: rethinking insider and outsider perspectives, Oxford Review of Education, 40(2), 1-20.

Pratt, N. & Alderton, J. (2019) Producing assessment truths: a Foucauldian analysis of teachers’ reorganisation of levels in English primary schools, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 40:5, 581-597, DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2018.1561245

Pratt, N. (2018). Playing the levelling field: teachers’ management of assessment in English primary schools. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 25(5), 504-518. doi:10.1080/0969594X.2016.1264924

Pratt, N. (2016). Neoliberalism and the (internal) marketisation of primary school assessment in England. British Educational Research Journal, 42(5), 890 - 905. doi:10.1002/berj.3233